February and Folk Customs

In February there are two of 24 seasonal divisions of the year: Ripchun and Usu.

Ripchun, which means the onset of spring, falls on February 3 this year.

From ancient times, the Korean ancestors would clean the inside and outside of their houses and put on such watchwords as “Suyosan Puyohae”, which means “Live long like a mountain and become wealthy like a sea”, and “Ripchundaegil Konyangdagyong”, which means “Spring is followed by happiness and happy events will visit their houses in all seasons”.

That day, they would eat scallions grown in an underground cellar to greet the spring.

Usu, which means the first rainfall of the year, falls on February 18 this year.

There is a Korean saying “The frozen Taedong River begins to thaw on Usu and Kyongchip”. In this season, the earth surface temperature and the maximum temperature rise up to 0℃ in most areas except for the northern alpine regions and the thaw begins.

So, peasants stored the snow water in the pools to make preparations for farming.

Such folk games as tug of war, yut game, seesawing, kite-flying and sleigh-riding were played in this season.

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